China’s Sinopharm commences trials on new recombinant COVID 19 vaccine

April 25, 2021 | Updated 7:30 pm

China’s Sinopharm commences trials on new recombinant COVID 19 vaccine A nurse prepares the COVID-19 vaccine at a COVID-19 vaccination center at the National Velodrome de Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, France, on March 24, 2021. Source: Xinhua

Chinese pharmaceutical giant Sinopharm has commenced phase-1 and phase-2 clinical trials for its vaccine against COVID-19 in central China’s Henan Province since Saturday. 

Developed by the China National Biotec Group (CNBG), a Sinopharm’s bioscience subsidiary, the vaccine obtained a clinical research permit from the National Medical Products Administration on April 9. 

This is CNBG’s third COVID-19 vaccine candidate approved for human trials. Researchers started the early-staged clinical trials in the city of Shangqiu, Henan Province. 

The trials were randomized, double-blind and placebo-controlled, according to a company statement. Zhang Yuntao, vice president of the CNBG, said the recombinant vaccine candidate has been genetically engineered. 

Unlike the company’s inactivated COVID-19 vaccines, the new one does not need a high-grade biosafety laboratory for manufacture, and it can quickly achieve large-scale production. 

“It is designed for people aged three and above,” Zhang said. Whether the gene recombinant vaccine should be administered in three doses will be determined by the results of clinical trials, Zhang added.